Over the past five years I’ve spent many weeks in isolation at Dharmagiri, practicing Vipassana meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka. I’ve never experienced such pain, suffering and doubt ever before. Presently I feel very exhausted, tired, yearning deeply to connect with my heart. My interest in the meditation practice is passing away.
Osho, is this type of meditation practice necessary? Is it helpful? Can awareness and celebration alone pierce to the depth of the mind and dissolve the darkest nights?
The Vipassana meditation was invented by Gautam Buddha, and for twenty-five centuries Buddhists have been torturing themselves. Now, who told you to go to Dharmagiri to S.N. Goenka, to learn a meditation for which the whole context is missing? The meditation was perfectly right for a man like Gautam Buddha. Always remember, everything is related, interdependent with a certain context.
A German poet, Heine, was lost in a forest for days. Utterly tired, exhausted, hungry, he could not find the way; neither could he find anyone who could show him the way. In the nights he was resting up on the trees; otherwise wild animals would destroy him. And there came the full-moon night. He had written many poems…the moon had been one of his most loved objects, and he had written beautiful songs about it. But that night, tired and hungry and afraid, he looked at the full moon and he could not believe it – what he saw in the full moon he had never seen before. And he had been a lifelong moon gazer. That night he saw a loaf of bread!
What you see depends on you. People see the faces of their loved ones, people see their dream girls in the moon, but nobody has ever seen a loaf of bread. But his experience was absolutely authentic – but only in his context.
I am reminding you of this because people tend to forget that life is a very interwoven, interdependent, cosmic whole. You cannot take a part out of it and keep it alive, meaningful. I will not tell you to do Vipassana unless I can also give you the experience of Gautam Buddha. Poor Goenka cannot understand this. He is just a businessman. What does he understand about the context in which Vipassana arose?
Gautam Buddha had lived in tremendous luxury, surrounded by beautiful girls, beautiful palaces. The whole night was a celebration; the day was for rest, the night for dances and drinking. Out of this experience he became tired. He had seen all the beautiful girls; there was nothing more to be seen. He had seen that every man and woman is just a skeleton, covered with a thin skin. Just think for a moment: here all of you are skeletons covered with thin skin! This body and its beauty fades very soon.
He had seen all that was possible in those days for a man of power and riches to see, but he could not find peace, contentment, silence. He could not find himself. Utterly frustrated, he moved out of the palace one night – because this life is going to end in a few days, or in a few years. It is not something to cling to. Each moment death is coming closer; before death grabs you, you have to figure out something which is eternal, which is immortal.